I Have Been Asked to Release My Medical Records to the Other Driver’s Insurance Adjuster. Should I Do This?
Dealing with the chaos following an accident is a painstakingly stressful process. More specifically, dealing with the other party’s insurance company is most of what causes things to be so rough. Giving a statement of any kind to the other insurance company is likely to harm you more than you think it will. This is something that many people don’t ever think about until it’s too late.
The whole point of the other insurance company’s adjuster contacting you is to find a way to end up paying the least amount of money possible. Because of this, they will be doing everything they can to spin things in their favor. There are many strategies they may utilize to do this, which means you will need to be incredibly cautious when you interact with them in any way.
This is most often understood to be the case with recorded statements. Adjuster’s will ask you specifically worded questions inteneded to make you slip up and say something that could incriminate you or be used against you to help them deny your claim. Adjusters might do the “right thing”, but they do the “right thing” for them – not you.
So how does this have anything to do with releasing your medical records to them? They do need those records in order to process their part of the claim, don’t they? Yes, technically, they do. In order to process the claim, the adjuster needs to be able to verify your injuries from the accident. However, they’ll be getting more than just that from you when you release your medical records to them.
When an adjuster requests you to release your medical records to them, they do so stealthily. The release paperwork you will sign does not specify which medical records you are releasing to them, and, in doing so, the very thing you sign allows them to access all of your medical records from even before the accident.
After the adjustor has access to your medical records, they will use any and all of it in whatever way they can manage. This means that if you have any preexisting medical conditions or procedures that have even an ounce of something in common with the injuries you suffered from the accident, the adjuster will claim that the preexisting condition contributed to the injury and is unable to be compensated for by the claim.
It does not matter if the “preexisting condition” existed thirty years ago and hasn’t been an issue since. If it existed, it will be used in the adjuster’s favor. As previously stated, the adjuster will do anything possible to save money and compensate you as little as possible. If they are able to find something they may be able to use against you, you can be absolutely sure that they will find it and use it.
The best way for you to handle the situation of an adjuster requesting your medical records is to have hired an personal injury lawyer beforehand. If you’ve done this, the adjuster is actually not allowed to contact you directly in the first place, so you avoid the situation entirely. The personal injury lawyer will handle everything for you, and you won’t have to worry about the confusing nature of providing information to the other party’s insurance company at all.
Not only will hiring a personal injury lawyer allow you to take a breather when it comes to handling the logistics of your claim, but doing so will also allow you to trust a trained professional to handle your case in a way that favors you. Your own lawyer is perhaps the only person you can fully trust to do something with you in mind; their purpose is to help you win. Your own insurance company would even have other motives in mind.
So what should you do when an adjuster from the other party’s insurance company requests your medical records? Be very careful and make sure you are specifically only releasing the medical records from the accident. You should wait until you have already been treated to be safe. You should also hire a personal injury lawyer to help you handle things in order to be absolutely positive that things will be done in your favor.